First Road Show of 2017

We just held our first Slowtwitch of the year. We'll hold 11 in the U.S. in 2017, and this year we'll travel to a few other countries as well.

Our first show was held at Inside Out Sports in Cary, North Carolina, on Saturday. I flew there to attend this show, as I did last year. What happens at these shows? Well, mostly we move a lot of product out the door and in customers' hands. We do this by bringing in enough expertise to help customers make the purchase; enough inventory to satisfy the demand; and usually some pretty inviting sales incentives. About a dozen bikes rolled out the door at this Road Show.

Every Road Show is different. The vendors who show up, the itineraries, the incentives are different. There is always hospitality (food and usually beer). We often have rides and runs, and above are some of the riders just coming in off the group ride.

Cervelo is a flagship Road Show partner. The store is owned by Cid Cardoso Sr and Jr, both longtime triathletes. Cid Jr is at left explaining Cervelo's P5X.

Cervelo brought a fleet of P5Xs to test ride at this Road Show and this fleet will be at most of our shows this year.

blueseventy is another Road Show flagship vendor. I didn't get the totals, but from what I hear a fair number of its wetsuits were sold at this show. I wrote about this brand's wetsuits last week. It is probably the most important wetsuit brand sold in specialty stores, though there are some worthy challengers.

Coach Stacey (tristacey) Richardson, a Raleigh-area fixture, leads a yoga class in the morning before the Road Show begins.

I spotted this nice looking Ventum and thought I'd snap a pic.

This is Jonathan Crawford and his company is Cycle Star. This is bicycle lube. But not any old lube. The best approximation is to think of Friction Facts' lube formula, but beyond this is how clean the drivetrain remains in between applications, which Jonathan says can be 800 miles if I understood him correctly. The formula is not inexpensive, but the price is less painful if you account for its concentration and sparsity of use (it lasts a long time).

Jonathan had a bike at his booth that he said had 800 road miles on it, and I wish my bikes' drivetrains looked that clean after 20 miles.

This is Mark Martines above, from Infinite Nutrition. They were demoing Tripwire. I'm not going to write about this now, but I'll be writing a lot about it in the near future because I've written about the concept behind Tripwire plenty over the past couple of years.

Infinit is the first mainline nutrition and fluid replacement company to insert a product with this particular utility into its line (that I know of).

At select Road Shows Hoka One One will be there with a bunch of shoes for testing.

You don't need expensive tooling, but you need SOME tooling if you want to perform dynamic fits. I don't think any of the Road Show host shops lack conforming dynamic fit bikes and either I or my chief F.I.S.T. instructor Ian Murray (or both of us) will be doing some sort of fit demos at all our Road Shows.

This fit bike above is an older, unsexy Exit Cycling Fit Bike that Inside Out Sports owns, but it does the job fine. It's outfitted with a "SwitchIt" for quick saddle changing. This "Express" fit took me about 15 minutes, metrics were read off the fit bike, a little high school trig applied, and the subject rode away on a new Quintana Roo PR5 with Di2.

This customer in the video above needed help on his road fit. This is the result of 15 minutes worth of my best effort. Then we placed his existing bike on a trainer, and I had him move back and forth between a position for him based on my own instincts (which you see in this video) versus the position he rode in on. In the end he preferred his existing fit to my "new" fit. (You don't always win!). In fact, we settled on a position in between the two.

Do you see the Cobb saddle aboard this fit bike? This lady, in training for her first full distance triathlon, bought it to replace her existing ill-fitting saddle.

As noted above, the fit bike is outfitted with a doohickey called a "SwitchIt" that allows me to change a saddle in 5 seconds. You don't have to dismount the fit bike. Just raise your weight off the saddle. This allows you to demo a lot of saddles quickly.

In the few hours I spent at the Road Show at Inside Out Sports the shop sold (at a minimum) four ISM PR 2.0 saddles (everyone who bought an ISM preferred this model to all the other ISM models), a pair of these Cobb V Flow Max saddles, and a Cobb V Flow Plus, and a Cobb JOF Randee. Everyone who bought the saddles I list above went through the entire saddle demo protocol, trying out at least a half-dozen saddles with the use of this fit bike and the SwitchIt.

I did all this, plus a couple of saddle protocols that did not end up in a saddle sale, plus the "Express" fits above, in about 6 hours, and I still had time left over to snap some photos (one of which was of this lovely and charming couple below) and have my pic taken with a lot of Slowtwitchers. This is just to say that, yes, it is "the fitter not the tool" but it helps when the fitter has the right tool.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Slowtwitch Road Show hosted by Inside Out Sports! Here's the rest of the 2017 U.S. Slowtwitch Road Show schedule:

Mar 12, Sunday: Detroit, MI: Fraser Bicycles
March 18, Saturday: Tri Shop Dallas
Mar 19, Sunday: San Diego, CA: Moment Cycle Sports
Mar 25, Saturday: San Francisco CA: Sports Basement Presidio
Mar 26, Sunday: Rocklin, CA: Rocklin Endurance
Apr 1, Saturday: Washington DC Bonzai
Apr 29, Stamford, CT: Pacific Cycling & Multisport
Apr 30, Jersey Shore, NJ: Asbury Park Cyclery
May 6, Saturday: Santa Barbara, CA: Hazards
May 13, Saturday: Chicago: Live Grit